3 confirmed dead after float plane crash near Kelowna
Published Monday, May 14, 2012 10:52PM EDT
Three people have died after a float plane plummeted to the ground and burst into flames in British Columbia's Okanagan region.
The victims were on board a de Havilland aircraft that crashed on Sunday evening near the community of Peachland, about 25 kilometres southwest of Kelowna.
The pilot was identified as Colin Moyes, 52. The other deceased are believed to be members of his fiancée's family.
None of the individuals were able to escape the plane when it burst into flames on impact, a spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Board told the Canadian Press.
Initial reports indicated five people were on board the aircraft, but the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria later said there were only three individuals on the plane when it crashed in a wooded area just off Highway 97.
"People in their cars were the ones that called police when they noticed this plane flying unusually low," CTV British Columbia's Brent Shearer reported Monday.
Witnesses said it appeared as if the pilot was trying to find a place to land the aircraft, he told CTV News Channel in an interview from Pitt Meadows.
At the time of the crash, the plane was en route to Pitt Meadows from Okanagan Lake.
According to Shearer, it's believed that the aircraft began its journey with five passengers but dropped two off in the Okanagan area before the crash.
Weather conditions in British Columbia were clear and sunny at the time.
Investigators with the Transportation Safety Board have been dispatched and are expected to arrive at the crash site early on Monday.
The crash comes just a day after the TSB opened an investigation into a mid-air collision between two planes in the skies above northern Saskatchewan.
With files from The Canadian Press